Guwahati, Feb 21 :  Union Health Minister J P Nadda today said the NDA government had already started the process of establishing 17 new AIIMS and 20 cancer institutes in the country. Once fully functional, more than 16,300 additional bed would be available in these new AIIMS, Nadda said after laying the foundation of a super speciality block under PMSSY at the Guwahati Medical College here. (Read: Work will start for AIIMS in Assam soon: J P Nadda)Also Read - 15,000 AIIMS Employees to Go on Strike From October 25 Over Pending Demands

50 Tertiary Cancer Care Centres were also being set up. The National Cancer Institute, Jhajjar (with 710 beds) and the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, were also being established. Besides, he said, super speciality blocks were being set up in 70 medical colleges and 58 district hospitals upgraded to medical colleges in the country. Appropriate ground work had also been done for initiatives like Mission Indradhanush, Kayakalp, AMRIT, introduction of new vaccines, steps taken in AIDS control programme and is all set to take a big leap forward. Also Read - AIIMS Doctor Alleges Rape by Senior Colleague During Birthday Party, Case Filed

“Over the next three to four years we intend to work towards comprehensive model for non-communicable diseases and a massive awareness drive was being planned for this,” he said. “With nearly 58 per cent of all healthcare expenditure being met through ‘out of pocket expenditure’ and nearly four crore people get impoverished on the account of healthcare expenditure, providing affordable healthcare of quality to all is one of the most important concerns before us,” the Minister said. Also Read - Manmohan Singh Health Update: Former Prime Minister's Condition Stable, Says AIIMS Official

Disparity in availability of healthcare facilities between rural and urban areas and between the states was also an issue. Similarly, the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) was another area of concern and there was need to focus on strengthening the primary healthcare system. At the same time providing adequate facilities to secondary and tertiary healthcare was required to reduce the burden on citizens, Nadda said. There was a need for more bed in government hospitals, also, patient load is much in excess of what the infrastructure is capable of handling and this was affecting the quality of care, he said.